As we reported a few weeks ago, a remake of Starship Troopers is on the way and will very much take its lead from Robert A. Heinlein's novel and not Paul Verhoeven's masterpiece of satire and sci-fi.
In a recent interview at the Film Society At Lincoln Center in the U.S., the mooted remake was brought up - especially in the context of Donald Trump's heavily fascist rhetoric and how the two play off one another. Verhoeven, who lived through the Nazi occupation of Holland and lived close to the Nazi headquarters in the Hague, based Starship Troopers heavily on Nazi iconography and sought to satirise Western nationalism using Hollywood techniques.
When asked on the remake, Verhoeven didn't hold back and talked about the articles which appeared saying how the remake would be more closer to Heinlein's book. "It said in the article (that) the production team of that movie of the remake, that they would go back more and more towards the novel. And of course, we really, really tried to get away from the novel, because we felt that the novel was fascistic and militaristic... You feel that going back to the novel would fit very much in a Trump Presidency."
As Verhoeven described it, he wanted Starship Troopers to be "a double story, a really wonderful adventure story about these young boys and girls fighting, but we also wanted to show that these people are really, in their heart, without knowing it, are on their way to fascism."
He went on, explaining that he may or may not be tempted to return to American filmmaking - his last two films, Black Book and Elle, were both Dutch. "We are living in a very interesting, or you can call it scary times, and of course you would like to do something about it, too...But I think if you go to directly into the now you have no distance... you need to have a certain distance as an artist to the project and not be in the middle of it."
Elle is due for an Irish release some time in 2017.